Radiohead release 18 hours of hacked music after $150000 ransom threat

Bessie Dean
June 12, 2019

"OK Computer" met with universal praise upon its release and helped forge the legend of a band that would become one of the most acclaimed of the next two decades.

In a show of what campaigners called "unprecedented support" for the global climate action movement, British rock band Radiohead turned a ransom demand by hackers into an opportunity to support the growing Extinction Rebellion movement.

Thom Yorke gets hacked and 18 minidisc files of OK Computer sessions are stolen (lasting 15 hours). Greenwood says the recordings will only be available for the next 18 days.

Following last week's leaks, Radiohead have taken matters into their own hands. "Instead of complaining - much - or ignoring it", Greenwood continued, "we're releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion".

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The statement also confirms that the band never had any plans for the public to hear the sessions, though some of the tracks were on the cassette re-release of OK Computer. And very, very long.

The description of the large 1.8GB collection contained on Radiohead's Bandcamp page further deemphasizes the importance of the material, contending its appeal extends only "until we all get bored and move on".

From now until June 28th, you'll be able to spend £18 ($23) to, in the words of Greenwood "find out if we should have paid that ransom". "Not a phone download", he warned fans, adding: "Rainy out, isn't it though?" "My archived mini discs from 1995-1998 (?) ... it's not v interesting ... there's a lot of it ... if you want it, you can buy the whole lot here ...18 minidiscs for £18 ... the proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion".

From left, Clive Deamer, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2017.

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